Track and record your health with technology
At the end of 2017, there were over 318,000 health apps available on the top app stores worldwide — nearly double the amount available in 2015. In addition, there were more than 340 consumer wearable technology devices available.
With more than 200 health apps being added every day, it can be hard to know what these apps do, how useful they are, and which ones to use.
Here’s our advice on navigating the ins and outs of apps that may contribute to healthier living.
Apps to track your exercise
We all know that regular exercise is important for overall health and wellbeing, so it’s understandable why some people want to track their activity levels.
Using GPS data, Runkeeper can track your runs, walks or any activity. You can set goals, follow prescribed plans, track your progress, and connect with other friends using the app. Runkeeper is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and wearable devices. It includes free and paid membership.
Strava is another app primarily used to track running and cycling. It’s compatible with iOS and Android applications including smartphones and a range of wearable devices including Fitbit, Apple watch, and Garmin. It also has free and paid options.
A pelvic floor exerciser can be useful to improve your pelvic floor strength. This device helps to improve pelvic floor function, and provides an effective option for continence management.
Apps to track your sleep
Sleep is an important part of overall health and now you can track the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Sleep Cycle is one of the most popular apps and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android. It’s also free but you can opt in to pay for some of its premium features. This app tracks your sleep and gives you a detailed analysis of your hours spent in bed.
Many wearable devices such as Fitbit include sleep tracking abilities as well.
Apps to track your mood
MoodPanda is an interactive moodtracking diary that allows you to track your mood and get anonymous support. Available for iOS and Android, this apps graphs your moods and allows you to notice any patterns and fluctuations over time. This may be useful to take to your doctor if you notice your moods are up and down.
If you want to learn to relax and meditate, Calm is another useful app. It contains guided meditations, music to relax to and lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching. Calm offers a free 7-day trial, but then you’ll need to pay to keep using it.
What about Apple and Samsung Health?
Of course, Apple and Samsung have their own health apps that allow you to store and view all your health records in one place. Apple Health draws data from your phone, watch, fitness and sleep trackers, along with your fitness apps in order to give you a quick snapshot of what you’ve done, so you don’t have to open a bunch of different apps.
Samsung Health (S Health) works in a similar way to make all your health tracking easy. It works with a number of third-party apps and trackers to keep tabs on all the health information that’s important to you.
Tracking your general health
While apps might be great to track some aspects of your health, monitors such as blood glucose or blood pressure can also be helpful.
Blood glucose monitors can help you keep your blood glucose levels within a specified target range. This is particularly important for people with diabetes. Similarly, blood pressure monitors can assist in managing several health conditions including high (hypertension) or low (hypotension) blood pressure.
In addition, if you take a lot of medications, or need to keep track of your medication, consider using a Tabtimer pill dispenser. This is a fully automatic controlled pill dispenser that has the capacity for up to 4 alarms per day — so you don’t forget to take your medication.
A final piece of technology that may make your life a little easier, particularly if you have a child who wets the bed, is a bed wetting alarm. Worn on the upper arm, a moisture-sensitive alarm sounds when the child wets the bed, helping them recognise and respond to the feeling of a full bladder while asleep.
Don’t forget your doctor
While health apps and wearable devices may be useful, it’s important that you don’t use them as a substitute for personalised medical advice from your own doctor. If you are using digital health apps to track and manage your overall health, discuss them with your healthcare professional, so they can continue to deliver the best health care, based on your own situation.
Please note: The information supplied is general in nature. Please consult your medical practitioner for individual advice.
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This article is sponsored by Independence Australia, a social enterprise that provides choices for people living with a disability or other personal need, enabling them to regain and retain their independence within a supportive community.